Si Reyna Kristeta

Si Reyna Kristeta
nagbahagi ng anekdota
hinggil sa ekta-ektaryang
lupain nilang Hacienda Luisita

Nirerespeto daw niya
at ng kaniyang pamilya
ang desisyon ng Korte Suprema’ng
nag-utos na ipamahagi na ang Hacienda
sa mga magsasaka

Tutal mabubuhay naman daw sila
kahit walang anim na libong ektaryang lupang
taniman ng tubo at asukarera;

Tutal kinaya naman daw nilang mabuhay
nang “agawin” daw sa kanila ang lahat
noong panahon ng diktadurya

Ah ganoon ba Reyna Kristeta?
Personally, wala ka namang problema?
Ano nga ba naman ang paki mo sa isyu ng Lusita,
e kaliwa’t-kanan ang endorsements mo
at naliligo ka sa pera?

Pero habang dinadaan mo sa tweet
ang pagbabale-wala sa desisyon ng Korte Suprema,
Naisip mo ba kung gaano ka-kriminal ang ginawang pangangamkam
ng iyong angkan sa Hacienda Lusisita?

Pera ng taumbayan ang ipinambili sa lupa,
ipinautang sa iyong angkan
sa garantyang ipamamahagi ito sa mga magsasaka
sa loob ng sampung taon.
E 1968 pa iyon!
Ano na bang taon na ngayon,
Ha, Reyna Kristeta?

Ano ba ang tinutukoy mong “suffering”
ng family ng iyong Mom?
E ilang taong pinahirapan
ang libo-libong mga Mom sa inyong Hacienda
dahil ang mga Dad doon ay P9.50 lang ang kita!

“Clearer picture” ba ika mo ang nais mong
aming makita?

Klaro nga. Klarong klaro.

Kasing klaro ng kapasyahan ng mga pesante
noong bisperas ng Rebolusyong Pranses
na ibagsak ang naghaharing monarkiya
at parusahan ang Hari pati na ang Reyna*

Ang Reynang iyon na kasing taklesa ng paborito nating
si Reyna Kristeta
ay minsan ding nag-‘tweet’ noon na “let them eat cake”
sa mga pesanteng nag-aaklas dahil sa kasalatan ng pagkain at katarungan.

“Wala na bang tinapay (bread)? Bakit hindi nalang cake ang kainin ng masa,”ang sagot ng Reyna sa nag-aaklas na madla.

Paglaon, ang Reynang iyon ay sinintensyahan
at pinugutan ng ulo ng taumbayan!

*Si Marie Antoinette ang Reyna ni Haring Louis XVI ng France. Pinatay siya, sa pamamagitan ng guillotine noong Oktubre 1793.

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All-out inhustisya

Sa panahong napapatigalgal ka sa kawalan,
habang nilalabanan ang antok
o ang kagustuhang matulog…

Sa tuwing umiinit ang ulo
sa akusasyong mahilig ka raw mag-PSP…

‘Pag nahaharap sa salamin at hahawiin
ang natitirang buhok, para pogi ang dating
sa bago mong ka-date…

Pag-isipan din kung saang lupalop mo nahuhugot
ang lakas ng loob na manawagan ng
“all-out justice”…

Sapagkat hindi hustisya ang tawag sa digmang mapangwasak…
Takot at kamatayan ito para sa libo-libong mamamayang Morong nadadamay, napapalayas sa kanilang mga tahanan at lupang sakahan…

Todo-giyera itong nagkukubli sa slogang “all-out hustisya”!

Hustisya?
Kilabutan ka man lamang sana sa salitang hustisya..

Dahil wala pa ring hustisya
sa dugong dumanak sa paanan ng Mendiola,
noong panahon pa ng iyong Ina…

Dahil wala pa ring napapanagot sa mga pinaslang
na manggagawang bukid sa Hacienda ng iyong pamilya.

Dahil wala pa ring lupa ang mga “Boss” mong
naturingang “stock holder” pero walang makain sa mesa…

Dahil ang masa’y naliligo pa rin sa dagat ng inhustisya!

 


When it is the State that is guilty of trafficking its own people

May ongoing pong paghahabol ng mga kinauukulan, yung mga nag e-engage sa illegal human trafficking. Nakafocus po ang DOLE saka yung DFA at DOJ diyan sa problemang yan (Authorities are currently pursuing those who engage in human trafficking. The DOLE, DFA, and DOJ are focused on that problem).”

An article that appeared in the Reader’s Digest October 2010 issue revealed a grim picture of the worsening state of  human trafficking in the country. According to the article, Filipinos are the most trafficked women and children across international borders. The article noted that out of the 800,000 trafficked persons worldwide annually, 500,000 are from the Philippines.

Last June, the US State Department has stated that the number of Filipinos that are victimized by human trafficking is “very significant or is significantly increasing.”

“The Philippines is a source country, and to a much lesser extent, a destination and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor….  Men, women, and children were subjected to conditions of forced labor in factories, construction sites, and as domestic workers in Asia and increasingly throughout the Middle East. Women were subjected to sex trafficking in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and various Middle Eastern countries. Within the Philippines, people were trafficked from rural areas to urban centers including Manila, Cebu, the city of Angeles, and increasingly to cities in Mindanao,” the US State Department said.

This sad state of affairs has prompted the US to put the Philippines  in its Tier 2 watchlist for the second consecutive year.  It pointed to “inefficient judicial system” and “endemic corruption” in government as the reason for the Philippines’ ranking.

“Corruption remained pervasive in the Philippines, and there were reports that officials in government units and agencies assigned to enforce laws against human trafficking permitted trafficking offenders to conduct illegal activities, either tacitly or explicitly. It is widely believed that some government officials partner with traffickers and organized trafficking syndicates, or at least permit trafficking operations in the country, and that law enforcement officers often extract protection money from illegal businesses, including brothels,” said the US State Department.

State-sponsored trafficking

The US couldn’t be more correct when it said government officials engage in human trafficking. Involvement of government officials in this illegal racket that victimizes thousands have been an open secret for the longest time.

February last year, no less than the Chief of the Philippines’ Immigration Bureau, Marcelo Libanan, has revealed that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is engaging in large scale illegal recruitment and human trafficking of  at least 10,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) monthly.

Because of this damning revelation, the largest alliance of OFW workers’ groups worldwide, Migrante International, has pushed for a “full blown Congressional probe” on the allegations of  Bureau of Immigration Chief.

“What we have been saying right from the outset was confirmed by no less than the Immigration Bureau; that the Philippine government through the POEA is the biggest illegal recruitment syndicate in the country,” stated Gary Martinez, chairperson of Migrante International.

“We demand a full blown Congressional probe on the matter and to swiftly punish the heartless officials involved in this heinous crime.”

Migrante’s Martinez noted however that the BI Chief’s “whistle blowing does not absolve his agency from any wrongdoing.” “This is why the BI should also be included in the investigation being sought. Illegal recruiters inside the POEA would never get away with their duping activities without the backing of likeminded criminals in the Immigration Bureau,” he said.

No investigation took place on the BI Chief’s allegations.

Smoking gun

 

A copy of an employment contract authenticated by no less than the POLO

Just recently, Migrante International exposed the continuing recruitment of OFWs to Jordan despite the standing ban on deployment of Filipino workers there.

In a press conference, Migrante presented families of 20 trafficked OFWs to Jordan. These set OFWs have recently escaped from their employers due to maltreatment, sexual and physical abuse and non-payment of wages.

They were able to sneak into Jordan via Hong Kong and Dubai, said Migrante. Their employment contracts were authenticated by no less than the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Jordan.

The group called this practice “state sponsored human trafficking.

“POLO, DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) and DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) has some serious explaining to do. POLO’s main responsibility, in compliance with the ban, is to immediately assume that any Filipino national they may encounter is a victim of human trafficking and therefore exhaust all efforts to send them home. Bakit nila ina-authenticate ang employment contract? Kung gayon, hindi ba’t nangangahulugan ito ng human trafficking na may basbas mismo ng gobyerno? (Why did they authenticate the employment contract? Is this not a clear proof that the government condones human trafficking?)” said Migrante Secretary General Gina Esguerra.

Relatives of human trafficking victims in Jordan

Matagal na akong nakatutok, may hinihintay na akong pag aresto soon (I’ve been focused on this for a long time, I’m waiting for an arrest soon).”

Despite the alarming figures, convictions on human trafficking cases remain very, very low. Even US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. attests to this fact.

“The relative low number of convictions since its promulgation relative to the number of cases filed and the prevalence of the problem has for too long created an enabling environment in which exploiters rarely face meaningful penalties and victims wait years for justice,” stated the US envoy.

Visayan Forum, a group that advocates against human trafficking, has stated in ANC’s Dateline Philippines last June that out of almost 400 ongoing cases of human trafficking, there were only eight (8) convictions. “Three months ago, 15 immigration officers in Clark, Pampanga were arrested. What happened to those cases?”  asks Ma. Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, president and executive director of the Visayan Forum. She stressed that there is a need for the government to be more transparent when it comes to its actions on human trafficking cases.

Mabigat po yung mga batas natin e. Kailangan ho mapatupad (The law is tough. It must be implemented).”

The alarming rise in human trafficking cases in the country should push the Aquino government to adopt concrete measures to stem this wicked practice.

Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 is very specific when it stated that the “State shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures and development of programs that will promote human dignity, protect the people from any threat of violence and exploitation, eliminate trafficking in persons, and mitigate pressures for involuntary migration and servitude of persons…”

But what happens in reality is exactly the opposite. In fact, officials from the government itself have been found to be involved in the rampant practice of human trafficking.

Up until now, we have yet to see even one of them be made to pay big time by our supposed “tough” laws.

The employment contracts of OFWs in Jordan, authenticated no less by the government through the POLO, provides the smoking gun on government’s hand in trafficking its own citizens abroad.

If the officials involved in this heinous racket go unpunished, all talk of the government’s supposed campaign against human trafficking syndicates will remain just that- all talk.

*******

The quotes that appear in blue are words from Philippine President Benigno Aquino III , taken from his one-on-one interview with GMA 7 reporter Sandra Aguinaldo on September 2010.

This blog post is in support of the global Blog Action Day to uphold and protect the rights of all overseas Filipino workers and demand government accountability.


Belligerent

Though they already said that it was just an ‘honest mistake‘, the US government – in this major diplomatic slip up – has told the whole world it recognizes that the Philippines is, in fact, in a state of belligerency and that we really have two sovereign states here in the country!



Kung bakit umuulan ngayon ng bato sa EDSA

kuha ni Atom Araullo

Kung bakit ang mga sundalong Kano binabahay ng gubyerno sa pamamagitan ng VFA, tapos ang maraming mahihirap walang bubungan sa ulunan.

Kung bakit habang bilyon-bilyon ang kita ng mga matataas na upisyal sa jueteng, kickbacks at pangongotong; pinapalayas naman sa mga tahanan nila ang mga mamamayan.

Kung bakit may Pangulo tayong hasyendero – na sa kasalukuyan ay kumakain ng hotdog sa New York habang ibinabaon pa tayong lalo sa paghihirap bunsod ng mga kundisyong kasama sa mga nilimos niyang ayuda kuno – ay lubhang napakarami pa ring magsasaka ang walang lupang sinasaka.

Kung bakit kahit anong kayod ang gawin ng mga manggagawa, di pa rin mapagkasya ang kakarampot na kinikita para ipangbili ng pagkain, pangpa-aral sa mga anak at pangbayad sa upa sa tagpi-tagping bahay sa lugar na gaya ng Sitio San Roque sa may tabi ng Trinoma.

Kung bakit paparami ang bilang ng mga sanggol na inaabandona kung saan saan at di maawat ang paglaganap ng nakamamatay na dengue, sakit na puro mahihirap din naman ang puntirya; ay wala pa ring habas ang pagkaltas ng pamahalaan sa badyet na nakalaan para sa serbisyo sosyal.

Ito ang dahilan kung bakit maraming ‘iskwater.’

Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit di papatinag ang mga mamamayan ng Sitio San Roque sa pagtatanggol sa mga tahanan nila.

Makatwirang paghahangad ng katarungang panlipunan. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit umuulan ngayon ng bato sa EDSA.

Mga kuha ni Kenneth Guda

Curing a defective Romulo

Malacanang has reportedly “cured” Alberto Romulo’s “defective” appointment as Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary by simply antedating his appointment papers from August 10, 2010 to July 1, 2010.

But while defective appointments such as that of Romulo’s can easily be cured with just a slight of hand from Malacanang, can we ever cure a defective Romulo?

A relic from the previous Macapagal-Arroyo regime, Romulo was never a stranger to earth shaking controversies that rocked his leadership at the Foreign Affairs Department.

Beheadings

It was during Romulo’s term at the DFA that not one, but six overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were executed abroad. The six OFWs are: Antonio Alvesa, Sergio Aldana, Miguel Fernandez, Wilfredo Bautista, Reynaldo Cortez and Jenifer Beduya.

All of them were beheaded largely because of the DFA’s patented mishandling of their cases. In the case of Beduya, for example, the DFA only provided him with an interpreter and not a lawyer during the initial and most crucial stages of his trial.

Beduya was beheaded in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia October 2008.

Passport price increase

Romulo is also responsible for the meteoric rise in the cost of Philippine Passports. This was due to the onerous contract entered into by Romulo for the new electronic-Passports.

Migrante International, the largest alliance of OFW groups worldwide, has assailed the P857 Million E-Passport contract as “illegal, unethical and grossly overpriced“.

“Romulo has squandered millions of pesos in corruption via the e-passport project when the DFA had failed to provide welfare services, protection and assistance to OFWs, especially those in distress and facing death row,” Migrante said.

Thanks to Romulo’s onerous E-Passport contract, Passport costs shot up to P950 to P1,200 from P550 to P750 in the Philippines. Passports prices abroad  were higher and went up to as much as thrice the previous rates.

Budget cuts

Notwithstanding the left and right allegations of criminal negligence on the plight of distressed OFWs;  a cool, calm and collected  Romulo didn’t even raise any objection to the Palace instigated budget cut to the funds intended for helping OFWs abroad.

When Malacanang wanted to slash more than 50 percent to the combined budget of the Assistance to Nationals Fund (ATN) and Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) of the DFA, all Romulo can say was:

“In the spirit of teamwork and (because of the) gaping deficit…we abide by the decision of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to cut our budget… “

He said he is fully supportive of the President’s ‘austerity program’ to reduce the budget deficit “that’s why we are not going to ask for any increase in our budget.”

Never mind if the drastic budget cuts would spell doom to the more than 7,000 jailed; 10,000 stranded and 108 OFWs on deathrow.

Curing Romulo

Romulo, with his defective appointment finally ‘cured’, can now sleep soundly at night knowing that he can no longer be charged with usurpation of authority and misrepresentation for his acts from July 1 until August 9, 2010.

But then again, can an antedated appointment ever cure a defective Romulo?

If we are to ask an entire army of OFWs, whose condition has dramatically deteriorated with Romulo at the DFA’s helm, I think the answer is NO.

The anti-OFW in Noynoy rears its ugly head

With the drastic slash in the funds intended to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in distress, President Noynoy Aquino has signaled his administration’s total abandonment of the rights and welfare of millions of Filipino migrant workers abroad.

It was learned during Wednesday’s budget hearing in Congress that Malacanang has trimmed down the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) Legal Assistance Fund (LAF) allocation from P100 million to P27 million in the proposed 2011 national budget.

The LAF is used to pay mainly for the lawyers and interpreters who are hired by the government to defend OFWs jailed abroad, most especially for those who are languishing on death row.

Thus, the Malacanang instigated P73 million budget cut is a death blow to OFWs who are in desperate need of legal help from the government.

Currently, there are more than seven thousand jailed OFWs worldwide and about 180  more are awaiting execution in various death rows overseas.

If the observable indifference of Philippine posts to their plight is bad news enough for them and their families here in the country, it would be unspeakable if they hear about Noynoy’s plan to give our inutile embassy and consular officials more reason to abandon them!

Noynoy should rethink his plan to chop the DFA’s Legal Assistance Fund.

The move is patently illegal as it goes against the provision in the Migrant Workers Act that states P100 million are to be allocated for the LAF annually.

It is also immoral as the drastic budget cut completely flies in the face of more than ten million OFWs, whose “needs” Noynoy  had just wanted the DFA and other concerned government agencies to be more “responsive” to.

Is this what you mean by being “responsive” Mr. President? By chopping the only lifeline our hapless , desperate and locked up kababayans overseas have?

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